vegetables

White Truffle Pizza (Pizza Bianca)

We’re back with another exciting month of delicious President’s Choice PC Black Label Collection products. Let’s take a closer look at this month’s box.

PC Black Label White Truffle Oil: 
Deep, complex, earthy, and with tantalizing aromas, the prized and renowned flavour of white truffles is blended with sunflower and extra virgin olive oils to create an enticing gourmet infusion. Drizzle a few drops to enhance flavours of roast chicken, grilled fish, sautéed mushrooms and omelettes.

PC Black Label Smoked Paprika Spice:
Popular in authentic Spanish dishes and in recipes from surrounding regions of the Mediterranean, use our aromatic and distinctively tasting sweet-bitter spice to add wood-smoked red pepper flavours and aromas to everything from eggs to meat, and fish to vegetables.

PC Black Label Nero Di Seppia Conchiglie Pasta:
Authentically made from durum wheat semolina and natural spring water, along with an infusion of traditionally Italian cuttlefish ink and a touch of lemon, our dramatically coloured shell-shaped pasta has a lovely, delicate flavour that pairs well with sautéed seafood tossed in creamy or tomato-based sauces. Imported from Italy.

I have had a chance to try these products in various recipes and I must say that my favourite item this month has been the PC Black Label White Truffle Oil.  It has such a delicate flavour that immediately I thought of making pizza bianca so that the flavours would really shine through and be enhanced with equally delicious ingredients.

And who can resist pizza?  I for one, cannot. I could eat pizza everyday – for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  This twist on a classic pizza is comprised with a few key ingredients such as comte cheese, thinly sliced potatoes, mushrooms, onions, and herbs.  Topped with this lovely White Truffle Oil, the pizza just melts in your mouth!

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I make this on fresh, no knead pizza dough which I have linked the recipe to below,  but it can be made on any store bought pizza dough as well if you’re short on time. This meal is perfect for a romantic date night meal if you want to impress your loved one, or can be easy,  nutritious and simple enough to make on a busy weeknight.

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I hope you’ll give it a try and be sure to leave me a comment below if you make it, I would love to hear from you.  You can also use my hashtag, #hautesucre on social media channels. Happy cooking!

Whether you’re a home chef or an aspiring foodie, the PC Black Label Collection makes it easy to unleash your culinary curiosity and get creative. Discover the entire collection and be inspired to #PlayWithYourFood at pc.ca/blacklabel. Be sure to stay tuned as I will be doing another giveaway next month!

(This post is sponsored by President’s Choice. I used their PC Black Label White Truffle Oil to make this delicious White Truffle Pizza.)

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White Truffle Pizza Recipe

(makes 1 small 8″ inch pizza, recipe can be doubled for a larger pizza or 2 smaller ones)

Ingredients:

Homemade Pizza dough (or your favourite store bought)

2 Tblsp PC Black Label White Truffle Oil
3 small mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium potato, thinly sliced with a mandolin (+ 2 cups of water)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup comté cheese, shredded or sliced
Dried Shallots (optional)
Dried herbs (oregano, basil, parsley)
Olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
PC Black Label Peperoncini

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a round baking sheet with a sheet of parchment.

  1. Cook potatoes in a large microwave safe container with 2 cups of water for 4-6 min on high power in microwave. Drain water and let cool completely.
  2. Roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured surface into a 8″ round and transfer to parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush the base with truffle oil.
  3. Sprinkle dried shallots and dried herbs
  4. Layer the potato and mushroom slices overtop, alternating in a fan shape pattern
  5. Add sliced onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper generously. Sprinkle the comte cheese over top.
  6. Drizzle the top with olive oil and bake for 20 min at 425°f
  7. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.  Drizzle with chili oil if desired.  Slice and serve. Enjoy!

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Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart with Asparagus and Greek Feta

Summertime cuisine always reminds me of easy and quick dinners and eating alfresco on the patio, enjoying the outdoors.  How about you?  Do you enjoy cooking in the summer or grilling every meal outdoors?  I must admit that I still look to cook no matter the heat but my focus shifts to meals that can be easily eaten outdoors and are more portable.  Foods that complement a big summer salad and other grilled sides.
Fresh asparagus, tomatoes, and all the summer fruit, I love eating, cooking, and baking with it all!
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I was in for a real treat this month with a beautiful selection of products from Italy and from Indonesia.  I love that every month I get to go on a culinary world tour and try a new condiment or cuisine staple.  It makes cooking all that more exciting and gives new meaning to #PlayWithYourFood with the PC Black Label Collection!  Let’s explore this month’s box:
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Milled specially for pasta dough, this “00” flour is the finest grade of flour cold-milled in Italy. With a silky soft texture, it’s perfect for creating traditional fresh pasta and gnocchi dishes for a taste of Italy from your very own kitchen.

Commonly used in Balinese cuisine, this intensely flavourful sambal matah is a sweet chili condiment made with cherry peppers, shallots, garlic and lemongrass. Excellent in curries, it also lends rich, spicy flavour to coconut rice and grilled fish. Imported from Indonesia.

PC Roasted Cherry Tomatoes:

When sweet Italian-grown cherry tomatoes are slow-roasted in the oven for eight hours, the bright juices concentrate into deep, rich savoury flavours. Bottled in extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil with garlic oregano and basil, these roasted cherry tomatoes make a mouthwatering addition to pizzas, salads, panini sandwiches or antipasti platters.
Eating seasonal produce is easy to do in Canada and we are spoiled with such beautiful produce in the summer months that is grown right here in our backyards, and what

better than to pair in-season asparagus with this month’s PC Roasted Cherry Tomatoes .

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This is an easy summer tart that truly shows off beautiful produce and it’s the perfect meal.  I have paired the PC Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with creamy Greek feta cheese, crisp asparagus and fresh oregano and thyme all nestled into a buttery puff pastry tart.  I encourage you to play with your food and experiment in the kitchen with these wonderful products.

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I hope you enjoy the recipe and as always, I would love to see your recreations. Simply hashtag your creations #hautesucre on social media channels.

Whether you’re a home chef or an aspiring foodie, the PC Black Label Collection makes it easy to unleash your culinary curiosity and get creative. Discover the entire collection and be inspired to #PlayWithYourFood at pc.ca/blacklabel.

(This post is sponsored by President’s Choice. I used their to PC Roasted Cherry Tomatoes to make this beautiful Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart.)

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Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart with Asparagus and Greek Feta Recipe20180607154231_IMG_6811

Ingredients:

 1 sheet PC Butter Puff Pastry
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 cup goat/sheep’s feta PC Goat’s Milk Feta Cheese
1/2 cup PC Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large organic egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Fresh oregano
Fresh thyme

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F

1. Line an 8″ pie tray or tart ring with the puff pastry sheet, trim the edges to fit. Reserve the excess dough for a braided crust, if desired.

2. Layer the thinly sliced asparagus into the base of the tart.  Sprinkle over the feta cheese.

3. Arrange the roasted cherry tomatoes over top and drizzle 1 tblsp if the reserved oil from the jar over top.

4. Sprinkle fresh oregano and thyme leaves over the tart. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

5. In a small bowl, whisk the cream, egg, garlic cloves, salt and pepper.

6. Remove the tart and pour over the whisked cream mixture.

7. Transfer to a preheated oven 450°F and bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is cooked through. Let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

8. Serve with a side salad. Enjoy!

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Winter Spiced Shakshouka (Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce)

Winter Spiced Shakshouka

(This post is sponsored by the FeedFeed and Vitamix).

My favourite weekend brunch includes this Middle Eastern egg dish called Shakshouka. This dish is a feast for the palate with a myriad of spices simmered in a slow cooked tomato sauce with an abundance of chili’s, and topped with farm fresh eggs poached directly in the pan over this magical sauce. It’s adorned with an assortment of fresh herbs and sheep’s feta cheese.

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The inspiration for this dish came from a recent dinner I have with the FeedFeed and the Vitamix team here in Toronto a few weeks ago. It was a lovely dinner with the entire meal prepared with Vitamix’s Winter Spice Seasoning. Delicious notes of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and dried oranges complemented and highlighted each course. It is such a lovely spice mix that I have incorporated it into my Shakshouka recipe and can’t wait to try it next in Indian spiced chai.

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This spice blend was made in my new beautiful A3500 Ascent series Vitamix machine and took less than five minutes to make! This machine is a workhorse and has been an absolute delight to use.

The features for this machine are outstanding, I’ve never had a smoothie so rich and smooth and ready in under 1 minute. My kids love it and with the pre-set program settings it’s so easy for them to use!

I hope you enjoy the recipe and when you make it, please tag me on my social channels with my hashtag, #hautesucre as I would love to see your recreations.

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Winter Spiced Shakshouka Recipe

The Shakshouka sauce can be made ahead of time especially if you’re making it for a large crowd and want to prep in advance. It can be warmed up to a gentle boil, ensuring the sauce is bubbling so that the eggs set. You want the whites to be just set while the yolks are still soft and runny. There’s no other way to serve this other than with a nice chunk of bread to scoop up the sauce.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 chiles or 1jalapeños, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp sugar
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp Winter Spice Seasoning
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp red chili powder (spicy kind)
1 tbsp. paprika
2 cups crushed tomatoes (passata)
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup water
4-6 large eggs
2 tbsp cilantro, dill, parsley, chopped

2 Tblsp Sheep’s Feta Cheese
Fresh crusty bread or pita

Directions:

  • In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil, add onions and sugar and cook about 6 minutes until translucent (do not brown)
  • Add crushed garlic, chopped chillies, and cumin seeds ~ fry 2 minutes.
  • Add the Winter Spice mix and the rest of the ground spices and cook 3 minutes, stirring to incorporate everything.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, chickpeas and 1/4 cup water (if using passata, do not add additional water). Cover and cook for about 10-15 min.
  • Smooth mixture into base of skillet and gently crack 4-6 eggs on top. Spoon some of the tomato sauce over and around the eggs. Immediately cover and cook approx 4-5 min or until eggs are cooked through to your desired preference (runny or semi solid yolk).
  • With a large spatula, gently remove sauce and eggs onto plates and top with chopped herbs and serve with crusty bread or pita. Enjoy!

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Rustic Baby Potatoes with Habanero Aioli and Maple Glazed Spicy Salmon

 

Rustic Baby Potatoes with Habanero Aioli and Maple Glazed Salmon

Rustic Baby Potatoes with Habanero Aioli and Maple Glazed Salmon

This month’s #PresidentsChoice PC Black Label Collection box included a favourite of mine, which is PC Black Label Habanero Aioli Whipped Dressing! This velvety aioli has complex flavours of sweet mango purée, curry, and a subtly hot habanero kick.  It’s a great condiment to eat with french fries, swirled into a salad dressing or used as a side replacing ketchup or mustard.  It’s so versatile that I even serve it with my maple glazed salmon and my kids love it!

Another product that I received this month is the PC Black Label Bacon Marmalade, which is great on a cheeseboard and is a welcomed addition to our pantry.

I have created a simple recipe this month using PC Mixed Little Gems Yellow, Red & Blue Mini Potatoes.  I have sauteed them with butter and olive oil and then tossed with this PC Black Label Habanero Aioli.

 

To make this side dish the perfect accompaniment to your meal, I have also included my recipe for Maple Glazed Salmon below.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and please feel free to tag your recreations with #hautesucre, I would love to see them.

Whether you’re a home chef or an aspiring foodie, the PC Black Label Collection makes it easy to unleash your culinary curiosity and get creative. Discover the entire collection and be inspired to #PlayWithYourFood at pc.ca/blacklabel

 

Rustic Baby Potatoes with Habanero Aioli

Rustic Baby Potatoes with Habanero Aioli

Rustic Baby Potatoes with Habanero Aioli and Maple Glazed Spicy Salmon Recipe

 

Ingredients:

1 bag (680g) PC Mixed Little Gems Yellow, Red & Blue Mini Potatoes, washed and sliced into halves

1 tblsp butter
2 tblsp olive oil
Fleur de sel (sea salt)
Fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp herbs de Provence seasoning

1 tblsp maple syrup
1-2 tblsp PC Black Label Habanero Aioli Whipped Dressing (for spicy, use 2 tblsp)

Directions:

1. In a large heavy bottomed frying or sautée pan, add the butter, olive oil and sliced potatoes.

2. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes.

3. Remove the lid and add the salt, pepper, herbs de Provence seasoning and maple syrup.

4. Continue to cook until the potatoes are softened and start to caramelize. About 10-15 minutes, depending on potato size.

5. Add the PC Black Label Habanero Aioli, covering the potatoes completely.

6. Cook on high heat until slightly seared, do nut burn (approx 1 minute). Remove and transfer to a large platter.

Prepare the salmon.

Maple Glazed Spicy Salmon Recipe

4-6 servings

2 small ceramic baking dishes

Ingredients:

1 tblsp sesame oil

4-6 salmon fillets, cleaned and dried

 

Salt
Pepper
1 tsp Mustard seeds
3 tblsp Maple syrup
1 tsp Raw sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried parsley
Dash of red chili powder
1/3 cup Soy sauce
Black Sesame seeds (optional, for the top)

{1-2 tblsp Sambal oelek (red chili paste)}

This recipe works best with salmon fillets due to the complementary flavours in this marinade; but feel free to try it with other kinds of fish.

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Directions:

1. Clean and dry the fish fillets and place in a shallow bowl or plate
2. Combine all the ingredients and coat the fish with the marinade. Set aside for about 25 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.

3. Preheat oven to 470F

4. Transfer to a baking dish and place a little sesame oil to coat the bottom. Lay fish in a single layer and pour over remaining marinade.

5. Roast the fish for approx 15 minutes (do not overlook) and put under broil for a few minutes to slightly char the top.

6. Alternatively, you can bbq it or pan fry it.

7. Serve with Habanero Aioli Potatoes and additional Habanero Aioli on the side.

Enjoy!

Spinach and Goat Cheese Tart with a Quinoa Crust *gluten-free 

I love this tart! It’s easy, simple and delicious.  And did I mention it’s vegetarian?

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical of my 6 year old son liking this tart due to the ‘green spinach’ layer under all that goat cheese but he devoured it for dinner alongside a vegetable soup. Yay!

It’s relatively easy if you follow my steps below and the pastry is quick and you can press it into the tart pan without having to fuss about rolling it out.  Easy peasy weeknight dinner sorted, great for meatless Mondays!

It’s the perfect main course served with a nice side salad or sliced into small squares or wedges and served as appetizers.
I hope you’ll enjoy it!

*And don’t forget, if you make this tart using my recipe below, please tag it #hautesucre on your social media accounts as I would love to see it!😊

Spinach and Goat Cheese Tart with a Quinoa Crust Recipe

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 cup quinoa flour

3/4 cup all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)

3/4 cup cold butter, chopped

3-4 tablespoons cold water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 4×14 tart pan with a removable bottom 

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients into a small food processor and pulse into a dough has formed.

2. Roll onto a flour surface or press the dough into a tart pan with a removable bottom. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 425°F

Filling:

Ingredients:

2 cups baby spinach

3 garlic cloves

1 large egg

1/4 cup cream

Salt

Pepper

Fresh thyme

200 grams fresh goat’s cheese

*Dried shallots (optional garnish or add to filling)

Method:

1. In a small food processor, add the spinach, garlic, egg and cream.  Pulse until the spinach breaks down and the egg is combined. Add the salt, pepper and fresh thyme.

2. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth evenly.

3. Crumble the goat cheese over top the filling covering completely.

4. Bake for 30 minutes.

5. Remove and let cool 15 minute before cutting.

Enjoy!😊

Austin, Texas 

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Austin, Texas in partnership with Visit The USA, Official USA Travel Guide to American Holidays.

I had heard and researched great things about Austin’s food and music scene snd was really excited to visit as it would be my first time visiting Texas. I had little or no idea what to expect.

I flew into Austin on the first of September, expecting a cool, summer-is-almost over feel, but boy was I wrong! Upon leaving the airport, I was welcomed with a hot breeze, cowboy boots, and sweet southern music! The people were so friendly and helpful in directing me to my hotel downtown.

We checked into the Hilton Austin on 4th Street, close to the hustle and bustle of downtown Austin.

We enjoyed some drinks whilst admiring the city views from the 25th floor lounge before heading out for the night.

We had dinner reservations at the highly acclaimed Uchiko,  which serves upscale Japanese farmhouse cuisine. We had tried various menu items and the desserts were out of this world!

As a pastry chef, I enjoyed them immensely and appreciated the various techniques that were showcased. Overall, the service and food were excellent and the ambiance was lovely.

The following day, we had brunch at the Magnolia Cafe, a classic 24 hour eatery which serves Southwestern/Mexican food.  My particular favourites were the migas, huevos rancheros, sweet hibiscus ice teas and the yummy grapefruit mimosas. This place was full of locals and definitely a classic Austin eatery with good eats!

After brunch, we headed out to do some shopping on South Congress Avenue, a favourite spot among tourists. We visited some interesting eclectic shops filled with a wide vaiety from vintage props to old fashioned candies to Mexican dolls.

After purchasing some cool souvenirs and candy, we headed out in search of tacos for lunch.

I had heard about the infamous Torchy’s Tacos and couldn’t wait to try them.  My favorites included the Baja Shrimp and the Democrat!  What a fun place!

We continued shopping along the South Congress strip after brunch stopping in some very nice retail clothing shops when all of a sudden, it started to storm like crazy.  That’s Austin weather for you, sunny one minute and hailing rain the next!

We ran for cover and ducked into a cute coffee shop called Mañana, a great little shop with a cozy atmosphere and very chic vibe. I tried some silky cortados with strawberry Macarons. Yum! I’m so happy that we stumbled upon it!

After a full day of walking under the Texan sun, we headed back to the hotel to relax and enjoy some snacks and cocktails in the Hilton hotel’s lounge.

Dinner was at the infamous Barley Swine headed by Chef Bryce (he was named Food & Wine’s best chef in 2010.) We were seated at the Chef’s table with a great view of the kitchen. It was a delight to watch the magic of the kitchen happen right before our eyes. Beautiful plates of food being served one course after the other.

Some of my favourites included the Hatch chile cheese pretzel, Akaushi Ribeye with corn pudding and bone marrow marrow hash as well as dessert; the lime mallow sorbet with cucamelon and olive oil cake and the Mango Koji rice pudding. A not to be missed restaurant!

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and crossed through the infamous 6th Street in downtown Austin.  The hustle and bustle of the bars, clubs and loud music keeps this street alive until the wee hours of the morning. Popular amongst the students from University of Texas and tourists alike.

We reached our destination Voodoo Doughnuts, a 24 hour bakeshop. I finally had the chance to try these colourful, creative and quirky doughnuts and they did not disappoint!

The next day we walked our way around the city and explored Lady Bird Lake where we walked along the trail to the boardwalk. The lake is beautiful and it’s a great place where locals go to workout, kayak or stroll.

After a lovely walk through the city and visiting the Texas State Capitol, we ventured over to Second Bar & Kitchen for some amazing cocktails paired with a burger, fried chicken and biscuits for lunch. One of my favourite spots.

After lunch, we stopped into Con’ Olio Oils & Vinegars,  a lovely local foodie shop in downtown Austin selling a wide range of high quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars. We learned about how they are made and had an opportunity to do a tasting. We puchased a few lovely flavours such as Grapefruit balsamic and South African Chili oil. Can’t wait to pair them with my meals.

A great place to relax and grab a drink is the historical Moonshine Patio Bar serving classic American food and drinks. With an equally delicious cocktail menu, it’s hard not to find a favourite. I’m still dreaming and missing this Bourbon Renewal!🍹❤ The Bourbon Renewal quickly became my favourite drink which is made with Rye, créme de cassis, lemon and Angostura! Yum!😋

Moonshine Patio Bar also serve a tasty buffet style brunch on Sundays worth checking out, but get there early as the line ups can be very long (mostly filled with locals, they know good food!)

Another dinner restaurant worth mentioning is Emmer & Rye by Chef Kevin Fink on the ever popular Rainey St. We chose this restaurant as Chef Fink was named Best Chef of 2016 by Food & Wine.

Dishes are served small plate and dimsum style. Truly farm to table cuisine worth sharing that showcases up to 15 different kinds of grains milled in their kitchen, which demonstrates Chef Fink’s  passion for incorporating local ingredients into his cuisine.

For dessert, I tried the cocoa bean ice cream with red fife cookies. A great twist on a classic with this hearty grain, a nice highlight dessert on my trip.

Further down Rainey Street there are more bars and food trucks that are worth checking out for quick fare ranging from Grilled Cheese to Indian to Greek. It’s a really lively street lined with bars and lounges, similar to 6th Street but with a slightly older vibe (post graduate crowd).

Another cafe that is hip and upcoming is Launderette, which is a converted gas station serving gourmet new American fare such as Fried chicken and Asparagus eggs Benny.  The food was hearty and delicious with another great cocktail list, including the Rose Grapefruit cocktail which was the perfect accompaniment to the hot weather.

Not to be missed and truly Texan is the BBQ scene! While there are plenty of places to choose from,  I had the pleasure of trying La Barbecue and it did not disappoint but be prepared to wait as there are long wait times, but it’s worth it!

Be sure to try the Valrhona 70% chocolate gelato from Gelateria Gemelli next door. It’s the perfect afternoon treat!

Austin was a great experience for a city girl like me. The food scene is amazing and the city is really up and coming. There is new construction everywhere and you can feel the tech boom moving in.

It has a great vibe and I highly recommend visiting it, especially if you’re into the music scene. There are many amazing music festivals that I would love to catch on my next trip, until next time!

A special thank you to Visit The USA and Visit Austin for this opportunity and the hospitable staff at the Hilton Austin for a great stay.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

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Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Wet Ingredients:

1 zucchini, shredded
Pinch of fleur de sel (sea salt)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup plain 2% yogurt

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean (or extract)
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of fleur de sel (sea salt)

1/2 cup Guittard super cookie chips or any other dark chocolate,  chopped

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F, prepare 12 baking cups or cupcake liners

1. In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk well.

2. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients and mix slowly, careful to not create any air bubbles.

3. Add the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate and gently fold into the batter.

4. Measure 1/4 cup of batter into each baking cup for 12.

5. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and let completely cool.

6. Dust with powdered sugar or top with your favourite buttercream.
Enjoy!

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Aquafaba Meringue:

1/2 cup of strained chickpea water (from a can)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean

1. In a stand mixer, whisk the aquafaba, salt and cream of tartar on medium until frothy.

2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue mixing on high speed until you reach a meringue consistency, approximately 15 minutes.

3.Add the vanilla and whisk until combined.

4. Pipe or spoon the meringue over the tops of the cooled cupcakes.
Enjoy!

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Apple & Castello® Blue Cheese Fritters

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Friends! My recipe for these delicious Apple and Castello Blue Cheese Fritters is apart of the Melt Recipe Blogger Challenge!  Please help me WIN by clicking the link below and please share this link with your friends and family! Thank You!!!

http://meltrecipechallenge.com/vote.php?rcp=1

http://meltrecipechallenge.com/recipe.php?rcp=1#.VcNYU8tZTqA

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Apple & Castello® Blue Cheese Fritters

1/3 cup 75 mL all-purpose flour
1 tsp 5 mL baking powder
1 large russet potato, peeled and shredded
1 granny smith apple, shredded
1 shallot, finely diced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp 15 mL fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp 15 mL fresh dill, chopped
2 egg whites, lightly whipped
1/3 cup 75 g Castello® Blue Cheese, crumbled
1 tsp 5 mL sea salt, or to taste
1 tsp 5 mL fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste
Vegetable oil for frying

Recipe:

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and gently fold in the Castello® Blue Cheese.

Add 2 inches of vegetable oil to a large skillet. Heat until just smoking, and then reduce to medium low.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the mixture into the hot oil and slightly flatten with the back of a spoon.  Cook until golden and flip the fritters to cook the other side. Work in small batches and do not overcrowd the pan.

Drain on paper towels to soak up excess oil.

Pairs well with a cool dip of Greek yogurt and fresh dill.

Makes approximately 20 fritters.

Please Vote! 🙂

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Tips for Hosting a Successful Dinner Party

I recently held a backyard bbq dinner party to celebrate the changing of the seasons in partnership with Cascade Platinum #sparklingclean.

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I had the opportunity to put the product to the test and I must say, I’m impressed! Not only did it remove the hard, cooked on food residue, it left all of my dishes sparking clean!

In order to host a successful dinner party, there are a few rules that are important to follow in my repertoire.  I’ve hosted numerous parties, whether they’re fancy affairs or simple gatherings, it all boils down to a few essential steps and making sure you’re always prepared.  I share my views with fellow Chef, Michael Smith who offers a few essential entertaining tips below:

1. Spend Time To Save Time:
Prep as much as you can in advance, from setting the table to prepping food. This allows you      to spend more time with your guests entertaining, instead of being in the kitchen.

2. Make Your Guests Feel Special:
It’s important to go the extra mile in making your guests feel special.  I love to decorate the house with fresh flowers, music, lovely table setting and sparkling dishes.

3. Clean As You Go:
While cooking, load the dishwasher so that you don’t have to do all the clean up after. This saves time and with Cascade Platinum, you don’t need to worry about pre-rinsing.

4. Share The Work:
Lighten the load and enlist the help of your guests if possible, this will help ensure the party runs smoothly between courses.

5. Grand Finale:
End the evening with a bang! Perhaps with a spectacular dessert, sparkling Champagne or a little gift for your guests, making the night memorable.

Here are a few highlights from our delicious backyard bbq dinner party. I’m so happy that my cleanup was made easy with the help of Cascade!

Rhubarb Lemonade:
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Marinated Garlic and Rosemary Lamb:
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Roasted Potatoes:
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Papaya Chicken with Roasted Cashews:
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Roasted Vegetables:
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Mexican Corn:
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Fire Grilled Jumbo Shrimps with Cilantro and Chipotle:
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Fresh Feta Salad:
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Mint and Cilantro Gremolata:
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*This post was sponsored by Cascade. All opinions are my own.

Roasted Mushroom and Chèvre Tart

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Roasted Mushroom and Chèvre Tart Recipe:

1 sheet of Puff pastry (you can use store bought, thawed)
1 1/2 cups white mushrooms, rinsed and bottoms trimmed, (thinly sliced)
1 cup cremini mushrooms, rinsed and bottoms trimmed, (thinly sliced)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
350g goats cheese (Chèvre)
2 tblsp Olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
Maldon sea salt or fleur de sel
Sprigs of fresh thyme
Flat leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper

1. Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle and place on parchment lined sheet.

2. In a small bowl combine half of the goats cheese and the crushed garlic and then spread a thin layer on top of the puff pastry.

3. Arrange the sliced mushrooms lengthwise (in approx 5 columns, as shown in the picture) on top of the goat cheese and sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1 tblsp olive oil and thyme.

4. Spirnkle the remaining goat’s cheese on top (in small dallops) and lightly drizzle the entire tart with olive oil.

5. Top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

Bake approx 30 min until puff pastry has risen and the tart is golden brown.

Just before serving, top with fresh, chopped parsley. Enjoy!

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